While Rory McIlroy seemed to enjoy trashing Phil Mickelson to the media, seemingly having a memorized line, Jon Rahm and Tiger Woods were absolutely pitch perfect with their comments.
“Yeah, that’s something [media rights] that we’ve had struggled with that for decades really. If you remember Larry wanted to unionize our Tour and we went through that whole process,” said Woods, when asked about Mickelson’s comments.
“Probably what we didn’t understand at the time even when I first came out here over 25 years ago is that where our Tour would go, where our media would go. We barely had cell phones, barely had the internet.
“Media rights is a big thing. A lot of us are concerned about what is the direction where we’re going and how can we have more control over that. There’s been a lot of talk from whether it’s the PAC or the board or from players internally. Everyone has their opinion about it, but we need to come to a collective decision. Jay has taken it all in to try and figure out what’s best for each and every individual player because we’re all independent contractors, but again, what is best for the Tour as a brand as well.
“Trying to put all that together, meanwhile still grow the Tour at the same time and all the different media rights that have come about over the last 10 years, whether it’s streaming, which didn’t exist, where do you go on that, where does the Tour go, who owns those rights, how much do you share of that, where does it go.”
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 18, 2022
Rahm followed, and said, “This is my official, my one and only time I’ll talk about this where I am officially declaring, let’s say, my fealty to the PGA Tour. I’m a PAC member, and I have a lot of belief in Jay Monahan and the product that they’re going to give us in the future.
“There has been a lot of talk and speculation on the Saudi League. It’s just not something I believe is the best for me and my future in golf, and I think the best legacy I can accomplish will be with the PGA Tour.
“I’ve said it many times in press conferences before, I don’t do this for the money, which to me is the only appeal to go over there. They throw numbers at you, and that’s supposed to impress people. I’m in this game for the love of golf and the love of the game and to become a champion, right? I grew up watching many great players play great events such as this one, and there’s history and legacy to those things. That’s something that has a lot of appeal to me.”
When the media brought up the name of Phil and others, Rahm replied, “You put it in such a negative thought. Again, they’re free to do the choice to choose whatever they want to do and in their mind they’re probably doing what they think is best for them, right? So I don’t think anybody’s a traitor in that sense, they’re just choosing a different path. Again, I think you choose to either play here or there.”